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Inky Valentine: You're My Main Squeeze

I'm both excited and nervous to be here. Here goes!

Milestones 1 & 2:
I read through Tom's example of his brainstorm and inspiration, which was super helpful. I find carte blanche almost debilitating in its freedom and prefer to set some boundaries as soon as possible ;) Once I saw his mention of puns my eyes lit up (I am a SUCKER for puns, and anthropomorphism, as evidenced below) and off I went.

I had originally been brainstorming a completely different non-pun idea, but became fixated on one of the items on my brainstorm list, which was a juice box (I have no idea why. I just went with it). I paired it with a pretty common/corny Valentine's phrase: you're my main squeeze.

I collected some inspiration images as suggested - I'd like my valentine to feel vintage, with blocks of colour and line work, and a bit modern with the addition of some texture. I may stick to a limited colour palette as I really liked that approach in Tom's Inky Illustrations course.

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I don't have a lot of experience with hand-lettering, so I'll see if I can pull it off - maybe if I feel stuck I'll use a font instead (if that's ok).

Here's my initial sketch. I've noticed that I tend to erase and re-draw over the same spot rather than move on to a different piece of paper, a habit which I'd like to change (note to self) because I think it can be nicer to look back on the process as a whole that way.

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I might like the final illustration to be even more simplified, so I'll work on that - maybe I'll skip the plaid tablecloth pattern I put under each fruit. I'd also like to create a somewhat abstract textured background, possibly. I used a different straw for each box to see which one I might like better - I think the bendy straw will probably win. As to why the orange juice box has arms and the pear juice box does not, I have absolutely no idea :)

Time to start blocking it out in Photoshop and begin working on the inky bits - looking forward to that!

Update: After a bit of thought and some observation, I took a second stab at my sketch - I simplified it and also reduced it to a more flat drawing (no dimensions). I think (hope) that this version will lend itself better to the techniques that are being taught in this workshop. Here's my updated sketch:

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The lettering is to-be-determined but I think I like the simpler story happening here.

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